Addressing WaSH challenges in Pacific Island countries: A participatory marketing systems mapping approach to empower informal settlement community action

Stephen Graham Saunders, Dani J. Barrington, Srinivas Sridharan, Semisi Meo, Wade L Hadwen, Katherine F. Shields, Regina Souter, Jamie K. Bartram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Addressing complex and challenging issues entails access to credible systems information in the form of systems maps or diagrams. The purpose of our paper is to describe a participatory action research (PAR) systems mapping activity that was undertaken by an urban informal settlement community in a small Pacific Island Country. A total of 19 households participated in a systems mapping activity to map a household-level water or sanitation system. The individual household systems maps and related data were then used to construct a de-identified aggregated water, sanitation and hygiene (WaSH) marketing systems map (and accompanying narratives) for the informal settlement. We present the marketing systems map, which delineated a series of marketing exchanges, and report on how the map assisted the community to address a number of expressed needs. We conclude by suggesting that systems mapping is a valuable activity that communities could undertake to generate credible systems information to inform and empower collective planning and actions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalHabitat International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Developing countries
  • Hygiene
  • Participatory action research
  • Sanitation
  • Systems mapping
  • Water

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